So my son started his high-school freshman year last week. My spouse and I had the following dialog:
Spouse: (Scowling) “I looked over the online syllabus for his English class and the teacher mentions Plato!”
Me:”You don’t like Plato?”
Spouse:”Not in a high-school English class I don’t!”
Me:”Well, I don’t know. It might be a little esoteric for 9th graders but frankly I would rather like some classical influence in education. Besides, didn’t Plato create a theory of narrative structure? Maybe that was Aristotle, I confuse them at times. In any case it would be easy to integrate Plato into an English class.”
Spouse: (Stops and glares at me)
Me:(Knowing that look) “What? What did I say?”
Spouse:(Enunciating carefully) “Not Play-toe, the philosopher. Play-dough as in the clay!”
Me: “Oooooooh, that Playdough.”
For his first assignment in English class, my son had to write a poem expressing his “true inner self” and then, and I can’t believe I am writing this, decorate it! Being a true guy my son said, “I don’t have a true inner self and if I did I wouldn’t read a poem about it in front of class.” A lot of people complain about the “feminization” of education and I would like to offer this as Exhibit A.
I have no idea what they will use the play-dough for but I don’t think it will have anything to do with writing coherent sentences. The curriculum gets more childish every year. They clearly value emotion over skill.
I say “Plato”, you say “Playdough.” Let’s call the whole thing off.
[Update: Is is just me or does their seem to exist some kind of karmic law that causes any post touching upon language, grammar, spelling and like to itself contain an inordinate number of misspellings, typos and non-grammatical sentences?]